December 20, Kathmandu. Tragic incidents occurred on Friday and Saturday on the East-West Highway between tigers and humans. Bara, Jitpur: A 10-year-old female tiger died after hitting a car in Simarara sub-metropolis-1 on Saturday morning.
A woman was pulled over by a tiger on the back of a motorcycle in the Amreni-Chisapani section of Bardia National Park on Friday evening. Nandakala Thapa, 52, of Kowapur of Lamkichuha Municipality-4, Kailali, suddenly fell victim to a tiger while traveling on a motorcycle driven by her son. In 2058 BS, the same person was killed by a tiger.
According to the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department, such incidents have increased in recent years, especially on the densely forested highways of the Terai National Park. In the case of the incident in Bardia National Park on Friday, the Nepal Army has put a ‘time card’ on the vehicle. Driving at speeds above 40 kmph is also prohibited in other park areas along the highway.
According to Haribhadra Acharya, an ecologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, conflicts between protected wildlife and humans on the highway have increased insecurity on both sides. According to him, a total of 1,028 km of the east-west section of the 200 km section falls within the park.
There are about 100 km of highways in Banke National Park, 30 km in Bardia National Park, 8 km in Shuklafanta National Park, 20 km in Parsa and 5 km in Chitwan.
In addition, an additional 200 kilometers of the highway lie within the forest, which is the main habitat for wildlife. Highways and rural roads passing through dense forest areas are being connected. There has been no study on how many kilometers of forest area passes through Nepal with a road network of about one lakh kilometers.
While constructing the middle hill, Madanabhandari and Dak highways, various roads and rural roads, mainly the forest area, have been chosen to avoid compensation disputes. In recent times, the number of unpaved roads has also increased. The department’s ecologist Acharya says that the threat to wildlife has increased day by day. According to him, high speed vehicles on wide blacktop roads have become a major threat to wildlife and passengers are at risk if they move at the prescribed speed within the park area.
A study last year found that nearly 500 wild animals had died in road accidents in the past three years. 108 out of 591 deaths in the financial year 2076/07 were due to road accidents.
According to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, in FY05 / FY09, FY1, FY09 / 5 and 126 and FY03 / .4 killed 139 wild animals.
According to the World Wildlife Fund under the United Nations, Nepal, various infrastructure projects, including highways through dense forest areas, have been the cause of many wildlife accidents. Conservationists of the fund say that the number of wildlife killed in road accidents may be much higher than currently recorded.
No wildlife has been counted in the forest due to collision injuries. Not all wildlife deaths are on record. Wild animals have been involved in accidents not only in the forest area but also in basic areas like canals, power transmission lines etc.
Studies have shown that wild animals, especially those looking for water, peanuts or prey, are at greater risk of road accidents. According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund, most wild animals are at risk of road accidents in the winter season.
Nidhi conducted a study on wildlife underpass constructed at four locations of Ramnagar and Apatari sections of Mughalin-Narayangarh road from August 2017 to June 2018. Underpasses have been built for wildlife for the first time in Nepal.
Studies have shown that there is a greater movement of wild animals in the road area when there is a shortage of water and food in the habitat. In winter, deer, wildebeest, deer, mice, baboons and wild cats were the most common mammals, while 10 percent were large mammals such as tigers, leopards and rhinoceros. Based on this experience and international practice, the World Wildlife Fund suggests that Nepal should build underpass and overpass structures on highways passing through dense forests for wildlife and passenger safety.
Recently, the death toll of wildlife has been increasing not only on highways, but also in large canals, transmission lines and other large infrastructure of linear nature. Scientists of the World Wildlife Fund, Dr. Gokarna Jung Thapa states that ‘crossings’ such as underpasses and overpasses are essential for wildlife in Nepal’s infrastructure, including highways.
Currently, wild animals are forced to cross the road to cross their habitat. The tendency to drive indiscriminately on straight and wide highways in the Terai has also become a nightmare for protected wildlife. Rastruct The cutting of dense forests by various linear infrastructures has hindered the natural migration of wildlife, ” conservationist Dr. “Interruption of developmental infrastructure not only puts wildlife at risk of death, but also affects their genetic development,” says Thapa.
According to him, if one cannot move easily from one region to another, the breeding of wild animals will continue within the same lineage. This naturally hinders the development of genetic traits in the new generation of wildlife. This will increase the challenge of wildlife conservation, Dr. “Even for food and water, shrinking in a confined area creates new problems in wildlife conservation,” says Thapa.
Thapa said that ‘ramps’ should be constructed in the canals along with the underpass and overpass, to make it easier to drink water in the canals to prevent old wild animals from entering human settlements.
No government preparation
The government has not yet responded to such suggestions from experts. It has been more than four years since the Department of Wildlife Conservation began preparing to bring guidelines for such infrastructure. The department’s ecologist Haribhadra Acharya says that the directory has been drafted.
An underpass for the wildlife is being constructed on the Kathmandu-Nijgarh Expressway. Director General of Roads Department, Keshav Kumar Sharma, says that there is no plan for such ‘crossing’ infrastructure in the existing roads.
Sharma says, “By leveling the roads, we can make underpasses for animals where they are needed.” “Underpasses cannot be placed on roads that do not have leveling. ”